Suing the police: Who pays?

The threat of litigation is generally thought to be a deterrent to police misconduct, but as this article reports, it is almost always the government (i.e. the taxpayer) or its insurance company that pays. Some commentators argue that deterrence would be more effective if the costs of lawsuits came out of the police budget or if officers and their labor associations had to bear more of the financial burden of misconduct.

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2 Responses to “Suing the police: Who pays?”

  1. Ashley Says:

    A potential difficulty with this approach is that the community ultimately suffers. If a PD budget is, say, $15M, and a $5M judgment is paid, then the agency must operate with a one-third reduction in its resources. Since the majority of PD budgets go to salaries and benefits, layoffs would be likely. If that occurs, then the community would receive a reduced level of service, which brings its own set of problems.

  2. Gunther Says:

    Dear Ms. Says:

    The police would have no one to blame but themselves for the reducing police services because of what they did.

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